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BBC TV
David Bowie Special

Radio/TV/Film/Video Index

Recorded: 25 May 1973
Broadcast: late May or early June 1973.

This 12-minute colour film by the UK's "Nationwide" TV (the narrator was the late Bernard Falk) was shot at the Winter Gardens Concert at Bournemouth on 25th May 1973.  The film is a short documentary and tracks Bowie, his entourage and fans, from the general build-up to the concert to his departure from the concert in a limousine mobbed by hysterical fans. Onstage, Bowie and The Spiders From Mars are shown performing rare live footage of "Watch That Man", "Hang Onto Yourself" and "Time." Sadly, the narrator is very "anti-Bowie" throughout the documentary as seen in the following extract:

"David Bowie spends two hours before a show caressing his body with paint. Bowie is a skinny lad with a pasty complexion and ochre-dyed hair in a Teddy Boy-style of 20 years ago. Yet with a dash of make-up he is transforming himself into an object that is worshipped by millions of girls...An ex-art student from Brixton, whose Dad worked for Dr Barnardos Homes, (he) has turned himself into a bizarre self-constructed freak. It is a sign of our times that a man with a painted face and carefully adjusted lipstick should inspire admiration from an audience of girls aged between 14 & 20...."

The film starts with Bowie in his dressing room with makeup artists, wardrobe assistants and bodyguards in attendance. Outside, fans (including two elderly ladies from the local pensioner's club!) are interviewed waiting for the show to start. A distraught young female fan cries over missing seeing Bowie enter the sidedoor. In another scene, at the Brighton Hotel filmed on 23rd May, fans stand vigil outside Bowie's hotel room:

Narrator: What would it mean to you to be able to go through that door?
Female Fan: I'd give anything to go in there - I really would.
Narrator to a Male Fan: He's just another fellow - you know.
Male Fan: Well - no - he's not. Nobody else ...could produce that music. He's a fantastic person.
Narrator to Female Fans: Isn't it a bit degrading standing outside the door when he is inside?
Female Fan: No!
Narrator: Why? It's degrading for me standing outside here.
Female Fan: (Showing annoyance) Why don't you go in then!
Narrator: Don't you find...I mean...why do you stand for it?
Female Fan: (Gives look of disbelief) What do you think?

In another scene Bowie gives a short interview, part of which is transcribed below:

Bowie: ...This is my life...really...writing or performing...There's not much else I want...It's the biggest kick I know...I know people do drugs and you get a different kind of buzz off those...but stage is just something else...its partaking of people...I'm very much a character when I go on stage...
Narrator: Like an actor..?
Bowie: Yeah...I believe in my part...all the way down the line...right the way down...but I do play it for what it's worth because that's the way I do my stage thing - that's part of what "Bowie" is supposedly all about... I'm an actor...

---This page last modified: 31 Oct 2002---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)